Vanessa Carlton Overview

Vanessa Lee Carlton (born August 16, 1980) is an American United States singer-songwriter and pianist. She is best known for the single "A Thousand Miles" from her debut album, Be Not Nobody.


1980–2001: Early life and career beginnings

Carlton was born in Milford, Pennsylvania, to Ed Carlton, a pilot, and Heidi, a pianist and school music teacher. Carlton is of Scandinavian descent on her father's side, and Russian Jewish descent on her mother's. She has two younger siblings, a sister, Gwen and a brother, Edmund. Her interest in music began at an early age; after returning from Disneyland Disneyland Park (Anaheim) at the age of two, she played "It's a Small World" on the piano. Her mother then began to tutor her on the piano.

Carlton began her education at a Montessori school.

Carlton met songwriter/producer Peter Zizzo at a singer-songwriter circle. A few months later, Zizzo invited Carlton to his studio to record a demo. Three months after recording the demo, Carlton was signed by Jimmy Iovine and began to record the album, Rinse. It was never released, but a few tracks were reworked for Be Not Nobody. One song, "Carnival", was re-recorded as "Dark Carnival Dark Carnival (song) " for the Spy Hunter 2 video game.

She has a dog, named Lord Victor, which appears on the "Nolita Fairytale" music video, and barks at the end of More Than This.

2002–2003: Be Not Nobody

With her previous unsuccessful recording efforts, Carlton felt there was a lack of direction at her label. It became a hit, peaking inside the top five on the Billboard Hot 100 Billboard Hot 100 and went on to become the sixth-most-played song of the year, as well as garnering Grammy Award nominations for "Record of the Year Grammy Award for Record of the Year ," "Song of the Year Grammy Award for Song of the Year ," and "Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist(s)."

Fair would produce the rest of the album. Be Not Nobody was subsequently released in April 2002 and debuted at number five on the Billboard 200 Billboard 200 albums chart with 102,000 units sold. It went on to sell more than two million copies worldwide. Two more singles, "Ordinary Day Ordinary Day (Vanessa Carlton song) " and "Pretty Baby" were released. Carlton began touring in support of her debut album, opening for the Goo Goo Dolls and Third Eye Blind, before headlining her own tour at the end of 2002. She later toured Europe in 2003.

Carlton had collaborated with other artists before the release of her sophomore album. She provided the descant vocals for the Counting Crows song "Big Yellow Taxi", played piano for Italian singer Zucchero, along with Haylie Ecker on violin, for the song "Indaco Dagli Occhi Del Cielo" and provided backing vocals for "Moving On" by Kimya Dawson for her album Hidden Vagenda.

2004–2005: Harmonium

Carlton began recording her second album, Harmonium Harmonium (Vanessa Carlton album) , at Skywalker Ranch near San Francisco. It was produced by Stephan Jenkins from Third Eye Blind, and included darker themes than those on her debut. Carlton stated that the album contained more of her own aesthetic as opposed to Be Not Nobody which was more influenced by Ron Fair. Harmonium debuted at number thirty-three on the Billboard 200

A single, "White Houses White Houses (Vanessa Carlton song) ," released to radio in late-August 2004, entered the Billboard Hot 100 in October, peaking at 86. MTV censored and later banned the single's music video because of a controversial lyric in the song that refers to ***ual intercourse. Carlton attributed the censoring of the song to the Super Bowl ***VIII halftime show controversy involving Janet Jackson which had occurred earlier that year.

To support the album, Carlton embarked on a North American concert tour, which began on October 21, and concluded on November 21; her opening act was Low Millions. She also recorded a cover of "Time Is on My Side" for a Time Warner digital video recorders commercial. A second tour, with Cary Brothers and Ari Hest as supporting acts, ran from March 9 to April 30. Carlton left A&M Records in mid-2005 as she felt there was a lack of support for the album on the label's part because of her nonconformist attitude. Carlton premiered two more songs, "Best Behavior" and "All Is Well." In October 2006, Irv Gotti announced that he had signed Carlton to The Inc. Records. It debuted at number forty-four on the U.S. Billboard 200 Billboard 200 , with "Nolita Fairytale" as the first single. As of December 2007, the album had sold 41,000 copies in the U.S. To promote the album, Carlton embarked the Haunted Club Tour, from November 2 to November 24, 2007. Second single, "Hands on Me", was sent out to radios on February 19, 2008. Carlton later went on a summer U.S. tour with Joshua Radin and Alexa Wilkinson in 2008.


In an interview in April 2009, Vanessa stated that she was half way done with a new album. Via Twitter, Vanessa announced that a possible name for her upcoming album could be 'Tall Tales For Spring' and she's been recording in KT Tunstall KT Tunstall 's studio in London. Other than this mention, there has been no talk of the album or its release date.Carlton's mother exposed her to various classical composers such as Mozart and Erik Satie. Through her father, she was exposed to classic-rock artists such as Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin. As a new artist, Carlton was compared to other female singer-songwriters, who played their own instruments like Laura Nyro, Joni Mitchell, Carole King, Fiona Apple, Tori Amos, Sarah McLachlan, Norah Jones, Alicia Keys, Michelle Branch, and Avril Lavigne.In 2005, Carlton completed the New York City Marathon and donated the pledge money she collected to Musicians on Call, a nonprofit organization that brings live and recorded music to patients' bedsides. She also contributed a song to Songs for Tibet, in support of Tibet to underline its human rights situation. On September 25, 2008, Carlton and several other musicians and scientists, departed on a nine-day trip to the Arctic Circle. On behalf of the charity Cape Farewell Cape Farewell, UK , they worked alongside researchers for the purpose of studying climate change.


As featured artist

*"Big Yellow Taxi" (Counting Crows featuring Vanessa Carlton)>



Other contributions

Music videos



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Vanessa Carlton


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